Creamy Mac and Cheese with chicken fillings

 

Creamy, chewy and loaded with cheese, a perfectly delicious meal for the sinful foodie in you. The sauce is rich and creamy and deliciously flavorful,thanks to the chicken broth that it is cooked in, with chewy pasta and a perfectly crunchy chicken filling and bucket loads of cheese that melts in your mouth. The dish is guaranteed to fill you up and is extremely satisfying from the very first bite.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 packet pasta
  • Milk – 1/2cup
  • flour – 3 teaspoons
  • Chicken broth – 1/2 cup
  • oregano seasoning
  • Crushed pepper
  • crushed garlic
  • 1 Onion roughly chopped
  • capsicum – 1
  • Shredded chicken – 1 cup
  • chilly sauce – 2 teaspoons
  • ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • 1 egg
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • oil
  • salt

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions on the pack. Before draining make sure its nicely cooked.

Chicken filling:

  1. Cook the chicken with little salt and pepper. Shred the chicken pieces. Leave the broth aside for the sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Add onions, ginger garlic paste and saute until onions turn nice and brown. 
  4. Add the capsicum and continue to cook.
  5. Add chilly sauce, pepper powder, salt and oregano seasoning.
  6. Add the shredded chicken
  7. Add an egg and scramble everything well. 
  8. turn off the flame and set aside.

Sauce:

  1. Heat some oil in a pan(you can also use butter).
  2. Add the flour to it and mix really well. 
  3. Add milk and stir continuously to avoid any lumps
  4. Add the chicken broth. keep stirring.
  5. Add oregano seasoning, pepper and crushed garlic.
  6. Turn off when sauce begins to thicken.

Assembling:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add layers of cooked pasta, chicken fillings and white sauce.
  2. Add generous amount of grated cheese on top.
  3. Microwave on high for 5 mins.
  4. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • Make sure the flame is on low while preparing the sauce or else it will burn or form lumps.
  • You can add any vegetable or meat of your choice in the filling.
  • The quantities of seasoning is not mentioned as it would be better to choose according to ones taste.
  • Add a drop of oil and little bit of salt to the pasta while cooking it. After draining the hot water, wash the cooked pasta well in cold water. 
  •  This can also be baked or made on a stove top. 

 

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Chicken Enchiladas

Deliciously creamy Mexican delight. An overloaded meal with pretty much everything that makes you feel good and satisfied from within. The sauce is mild yet flavorful, the tortillas perfectly soaked and loaded with chicken cooked with caramelized onions and to top it all, there’s deliciously creamy cheese that literally  strings in your mouth. A perfect  ‘oh so heavenly’ meal for the sinful foodies!!

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Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • Dried red chillies – 4 or 5
  • Chicken stock – a cup
  • Tomatoes – 2
  • salt
  • red chilly powder – 3 teaspoons
  • green chilly sauce – 1 teaspoon
  • cumin – 2 teaspoons
  • oregano seasoning – 2 teaspoons
  • garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Flour – 2-3 teaspoons

For the filling:

  • Shredded chicken – 1 cup
  • Onions chopped – 2
  • pepper powder – 2-3 teaspoons
  • cheese cubes -1
  • Olive oil

For the tortillas:

  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Corn flour – 1 cup

Method:

Enchilada sauce:

  1. Remove the seeds of the red chilies and roast them on a hot pan until it starts giving a nice smell.
  2. Blend together the roasted chilies, tomatoes and chicken stock. (You can use the stock from cooking the chicken pieces for the filling)
  3. Bring the blended sauce to a boil.
  4. Add the green chilly sauce, cumin, oregano, garlic paste and stir continuously
  5. Add the flour to thicken the sauce. keep stirring.
  6. Once the sauce starts to get thick, check for seasoning and turn off flame. It should be of pouring consistency.

Tortillas:

  1. Knead the flour and corn flour into a nice dough and roll out circles.
  2. Fry them on both sides until color changes slightly.

Filling:

  1. Add olive oil into a pan and saute the onions really well until they begin to caramelize.
  2. Toss in the shredded chicken and fry well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the cheese cube and continue to saute well.
  5. Turn off when the cheese has melted well.

Assembling the enchiladas:

  1. Oil the tortillas slightly with olive oil.
  2. On a baking dish, pour the enchilada sauce until the bottom is completely covered in sauce.
  3. Spread the sauce on the oiled tortilla and add a generous amount of filling. Roll the tortilla and place it on the dish.
  4. Repeat this with the remaining tortillas and place the side by side on the dish.
  5. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolled tortillas covering them completely in sauce.
  6. Top with generous amounts of grated cheese.
  7. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. You can also bake at 350 for 12-15mins.

Notes:

  1. This recipe uses homemade enchilada sauce and tortillas, store bought works just as fine.
  2. You can adjust the spice level according to your taste. You may have to check for seasoning  and adjust quantities accordingly.
  3. Be careful about the amount of salt you add, as there’s salt in everything.
  4. You can use the cheese of your choice. 

 

Hyderabadi Mutton Haleem

Hyderabad is a land that is very closely entwined with its food.  What makes a Hyderabadi top the list of foodies is not just their passion for food, but also their dedication and effort that goes into the preparation of food, be it the selection of the finest of the finest raw materials or the utmost care they take while cooking or even the wholehearted way in which the food is served. The Hyderabadi cuisine is extremely popular in India with the Hyderabadi biriyani usually taking up most of its credit, this cuisine is not just about biriyanis. Another popular item on this meat-intensive cuisine is the ‘shahi haleem’. Available exclusively during the holy month of Ramzan or other important events like weddings, Haleem is an absolutely royal treat. It is a  kind of stew prepared by slow cooking wheat,rice and lentils along with mutton pieces and served with fried onions, lime and ghee. The slow cooking ensures that all the juices of the mutton is incorporated into the dish giving it a very rich flavor. The most aromatic and flavorful spices are handpicked into the preparation of the haleem and is cooked until it gets a nice and creamy consistency. The taste is so intense that if you taste it once, you will remember it forever.

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Ingredients:

  • Mutton pieces with bones – 1kg
  • Broken wheat – 1 cup soaked for few hours
  • Lentils (Mong dal, urad dal, toor dal etc) – a handful each, soaked for few hours
  • Basmati rice – a handful, soaked for few hours
  • Whole spices – Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, khas, aniseed, star aniseed, cloves etc – 2 or 3 of each
  • Freshly powdered garam masala – 2-3 teaspoons
  • green chilly paste – 2 teaspoons
  • ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoon
  • green chilies – 3-4 slit
  • Onions – 1 roughly chopped, 2 – fried.
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Mint leaves – 1/2 cup
  • red chilly powder – 3 teaspoons
  • turmeric powder – 2 teaspoons
  • beaten yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • ghee
  • oil
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add all the whole spices and roast.
  2. Add half of the sliced onions and the slit green chilies.
  3. Add the mutton pieces and saute well for few mins.
  4. Add water enough to cover the mutton, sufficient salt and pressure cook on high flame for one whistle and then on low for an hour.
  5. In another pressure cooker add the broken wheat, lentils and rice.
  6. Add about three times water as the quantity of the dals, sufficient salt and close and pressure cook on high flame for one whistle and then on low flame for 45 minutes.
  7. Once the meat and lentils are cooked, open the pressure cooker and mash thoroughly.
  8. Remove the bones from the mutton and blend the mutton and the lentils into a pasty texture.
  9. Heat a pan and add some ghee, you can also add oil instead of ghee.
  10. Add onions and saute well.
  11. Add ginger garlic paste and green chilly paste and saute until raw smell goes.
  12. Add the coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  13. Add Chilly powder, turmeric powder and fresh garam masala powder and stir well.
  14. Add some beaten curd and mix.
  15. add the ground mutton and lentil paste and mix thoroughly.
  16. Check for seasoning and add salt or garam masala if necessary.
  17. Add a little bit of the mutton stock obtained from cooking the mutton, little ghee and cook on medium flame constantly stirring.
  18. Turn off the flame when you get a thick and creamy paste like consistency.
  19. Garnish with fried onions, lemon wedge and pour some ghee on top.

Notes:

  1. Instead of grinding the mutton and lentils into a paste, you can just cook and mash them until they are pasty.  However too much cooking causes the juices to evaporate so the flavor wont be as intense.
  2. you can cook mutton and lentils in the same pressure cooker but the cooking time of both are different, so the consistency may not be so perfect. 
  3. you can use normal vessel instead of pressure cooker but it will take longer time to cook. 
  4. you can use chicken or beef instead of mutton in this recipe, but trust me, nothing like mutton !! 

 

Chicken spring Rolls

A very popular  Indo Chinese snack, spring rolls are a kind of fill and roll appetizers said to be originally a popular street food in China and other South East Asian countries. These rolls are crispy on the outside and nice and crunchy on the inside. The filling has a strong taste of soy bean sauce which gives it the traditional Indo Chinese flavor. The rolls are loaded with generous amounts of chicken and a lot of rich veggies so the snack in itself is tummy filling. The ingredients are easily available and a perfect make for a rainy day tea time snack.IMG_20160611_174949869

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast pieces – 2 or 3
  • Cabbage – a cup thinly sliced
  • Carrot – a cup thinly sliced
  • Onions – a cup
  • Capsicum – a cup thinly sliced
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 teaspoons
  • Soy bean sauce- 2 teaspoons
  • pepper powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry
  • All purpose flour – 2 cups/Spring roll leaves

Method:

For the Spring roll leaf:

  1. Knead a dough by adding hot water and salt to the all purpose flour. Knead until smooth. Keep aside for few minutes
  2. Roll out Small roti sized circles fry both sides on a pan until slightly changes colour.
  3. Do not over cook.
  4. Cover the rolled leaves and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts adding a bit of salt and pepper
  2. Shred the chicken pieces and set aside
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onions and saute
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste.
  5. Add the shredded chicken and fry for a minute
  6. Toss in all the vegetables one by one and fry on high flame
  7. Add some soy bean sauce and stir well.
  8. Add a spoonful of chicken stock obtained while cooking the breasts and cover and cook on medium flame for about 4-5 mins. Do not over cook as we need the crunchiness of the veggies to be retained.
  9. Add pepper powder and stir well and turn off the flame.
  10. Once the filling cools down, take a generous amount of filling and place it in one corner of the leaf and roll well.
  11. Make a paste out of flour and water and use it to seal the sides of the spring rolls.
  12. Deep fry until golden brown.

Notes:

  1. You can add any vegetables of your choice while making the filling. You can even add boiled noodles and it will taste great.

 

Erachi pathiri

Erachi pathiri is a deep-fried bread stuffed with a spicy non veg filling. An extremely popular snack in the Malabar and a must have for Iftar. The filling is rich and spicy cooked in coconut oil. It is aromatic, with the flavours of fennel seeds, pepper and curry leaves giving it a nice traditional touch. This goes inside a perfectly consistent dough and deep fried to a golden brown mass of crunchy goodness.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Onions finely chopped
  • finely chopped ginger and garlic
  • green chillies – 2
  • chicken – cooked and shredded
  • curry leaves finely chopped (5-6 leaves)
  • Powdered  fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • chilly powder – 2 teaspoon
  • turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Squeeze of a lemon(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Oil to deep fry

Method:

  1. Cook the chicken by adding pinch of turmeric and salt and shred the pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the green chillies, ginger and garlic.
  3. Add onions and salt and saute until golden brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves and fennel seeds powder and saute.
  5. Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute well.
  6. Add the shredded pieces of chicken and cook well without adding any water.
  7. Top with some pepper powder and turn off the flame. You can optionally add a squeeze of a lemon to neutralize the spice.
  8.  Add sufficient water and knead the dough well as you would for normal rotis. Leave it aside for a few minutes to make it soft.
  9. Make small balls of the dough and roll it into a small circle.
  10. Cut the roti in half and add a small spoonful of the filling to one side of the semi circle and fold it. Seal the sides by pressing it with your fingers.
  11. Pinch and fold the sealed sides .
  12. Deep fry the pathiris on high flame until golden brown.

Notes:

  1. I used chicken in this recipe, you could use any non veg of your choice, chicken, beef mutton or even boiled egg. You could pick some chicken pieces from the curry and shred them to make the filling.
  2. Make sure to drain the oil well after frying as it absorbs a lot of oil. 
  3. If you cant pinch and fold the sides properly, you could use a fork to shape the sides. The idea is to seal them properly so that oil doesnt get inside while frying. 

Fresh Mango Cake(Stove top)

The only good thing about this scorching summer heat is that mangoes are in season and when it comes to the ‘king of fruits’, the options are endless, be it puddings or mousse or cakes or even the fruit by itself. This mango cake is super soft, spongy and moist with the flavor of fresh mango popping out in every bite and to top it all, there’s a whole layer of sliced mangoes which makes it all the more juicy and mango’ey! This recipe would surely make you go mangoes this summer!! It does not require an oven and is made on the stove top in a pressure cooker. IMG_20160521_191002534

Ingredients:

  • Fresh mangoes – 3-4
  • Flour – 3/4 cup
  • Eggs – 3
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • oil/butter – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hot milk/hot water – 1/4 cup
  • Salt/baking soda – enough to cover the bottom of the pressure cooker

Method:

  1. Nicely puree 2 mangoes into a thick pulp and set aside.
  2. Blend together the sugar and the eggs, adding one egg at a time.
  3. Add vanilla essence and continue to whisk.
  4. Add oil or melted butter and mix well.
  5. Add the mango pulp and mix, the mixture should’ve doubled by now.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to the mango mixture and whisk everything well until combined.
  7. Pour some hot milk or water and combine. This is to make the cake moist and spongy. Combine really well. Move the mixture to your baking container.
  8. Cover the bottom of a large pressure cooker with salt or baking soda.
  9. Place a wire rack or a small tray on the bottom of the cooker and place the baking tray on top of this wire rack such that it doesn’t touch the bottom or sides of the cooker.
  10.  Cover the cooker with the lid , but make sure you do not use the whistle of the cooker, Cook this on high flame for 15 mins, then on low flame for 20 mins.
  11. After a total of 35-40 mins, the cake would be ready, check by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  12. Top the cake with finely sliced mangoes and serve.

Notes:

  1. If using an oven, bake the cake at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F .
  2. You can use sand also instead of salt, the idea is to just prevent the cooker from burning.
  3. Make sure you do not  use the whistle of the cooker or else the cake would get soggy with all the moisture formed in the cooker.

 

Mutton stew

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There is no appam in kerala without a stew. And a mutton stew is like the king of all stews. Tender pieces of mutton cooked with traditional spices like cinnamon and cardamom in a rich, thick coconut milk gravy. What better way to start your day than to treat yourself with a bite of soft appam soaked in such a delicious gravy. Extremely popular dish in kerala, and so increasingly common that every non veg household has a recipe of their own. And this one is from my mom in law’s kitchen and my personal favorite.

Ingredients:

  • Mutton pieces
  • Onions – 1 large roughly chopped
  • Tomato – 1
  • green chillies – 3-4
  • ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Potatoes – 2
  • thick coconut milk – 1 cup
  • oil – 3 teaspoons
  • cardamom, cloves and cinnamon – 2 pieces each
  • garam masala – a pinch
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
  3. Add onions, tomatoes, green chillies and ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  4. Add chopped potatoes and mutton pieces and add a cup of water.
  5. Add salt and pressure cook for about 15-20 mins or until the mutton is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Once cooked, open the cooker and stir really well. On low flame add a cup of coconut milk and a pinch of garam masala and turn of once it starts to bubble. Do not boil.
  7. Serve with appam, idiappam, chapatti or even bread.

Notes:

  1. After adding the milk, make sure it doesn’t boil otherwise the milk will curdle and the stew wont taste as good.
  2. If using store bought garam masala, you’ll need to add 1-2 teaspoons to get a better flavour.
  3. You can replace coconut milk with normal packet milk and it will work just as fine.
  4. You can replace mutton with beef or even vegetables like carrot, green peas etc in this recipe.
  5. You can avoid saute’ing and pressure cook everything together as well.

 

Mashed potatoes and chicken casserole

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A truly heartwarming delicacy, loaded with the goodness of minced chicken and nicely cooked potatoes layered between aromatic sauces flavored with ripe tomatoes, vegetables and spices. The chicken is nice and tender and the potatoes nicely mashed, ensuring a wholesome and filling meal to satisfy your tummy. The sauce is loaded with chicken and veggies cooked for hours to a perfectly thick and consistent layer of goodness. Topped with a generous layer of hot and bubbling cheese, this recipe will leave you craving for more.

Ingredients:

  • Minced chicken
  • Potatoes (Boiled and mashed) – 4
  • Tomatoes – 5
  • grated carrot -1
  • capsicum finely chopped -1
  • tomato ketchup – 2 teaspoons
  • garlic – 10 cloves finely chopped
  • Onions finely chopped – 1
  • oregano seasoning
  • ginger garlic paste – 2-3 teaspoons
  • butter – 50g
  • milk – 2/3 cup
  • flour – 1/4 cup
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • olive oil- 3 teaspoons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

For the red sauce

  1. Boil the tomatoes and puree them in a blender.
  2. Cook the puree on light fame until it slightly begins to thicken.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and sugar and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the finely chopped garlic.
  5. Once the garlic starts to turn brown, add the onions and saute well.
  6. Add the grated carrots and the finely chopped capsicum when the onions turn translucent.
  7. Add the minced chicken and cook until the chicken turns white.
  8. Pour the tomato puree on to the cooked chicken and vegetables and add tomato ketchup.
  9. When it begins to boil, season with salt, pepper and oregano spice mix.
  10. On low heat let this cook for 2-2.5 hours until the sauce gets nice and thick.

For the white sauce:

  1. Melt the butter and add flour to it. mix well
  2. On low heat, mix well until smooth
  3. Add the milk and stir well until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Turn off the flame and season with salt and pepper.

layering:

  1. Mix mashed potatoes with ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper.
  2. Grease a baking pan with olive oil.
  3. Add a layer of red sauce evenly spread.
  4. Pour some white sauce.
  5. Add a layer of mashed potatoes.
  6. Pour some more thick layer of red sauce.
  7. Pour some white sauce
  8. Top it with another layer of white sauce.
  9. Cover the entire top layer with generous amount of grated cheese.
  10. Cover with a foil and microwave on medium for 10 mins
  11. Remove the foil and microwave on medium for another 5 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. While preparing the white sauce, make sure you keep stirring to avoid formation of lumps.
  2. Make sure to add enough garlic and ginger to balance out the potatoes
  3. Use ripe tomatoes for better color for the sauce.
  4. I added some chilly powder to the red sauce as I wanted it to be spicy. Just make sure to add enough seasoning otherwise the cheese and potatoes would make it taste bland.  

Sweet and sour grilled chicken

A perfectly balanced recipe with just about everything to suit every mood. The marinade is sweet, spicy salty and perfectly tangy all at the same time and the chicken pieces are moist and juicy and browned to perfection. Its tender and neither too crisp nor too rare. Extremely easy to make with readily available ingredients

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Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken pieces( thighs and breasts)
  • Honey – 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Chilly sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/butter

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with all the ingredients except oil and leave for at least 30 mins.
  2. Grease a pan and grill the meat pieces for 10 mins.
  3. Flip the pieces and grill for another 10 mins.

Notes:

  1. You can use the same marinade and shallow fry the pieces until nice and brown. I stove fried one batch and grilled another, you can pick a method to suit your mood.
  2. Make sure the pieces are cooked to a nice and juicy texture, do not overcook.

Fried Banana balls

Quick and easy to make tea time snack. Soft and chewy on the inside, with every bite giving you the juicy taste of ripe bananas. The added rice powder gives it a slight crunchiness while retaining the fluffy texture. The balls are deep fried in coconut oil which gives it an extra flavor to soothe your taste buds.

P_20160407_180717.jpgIngredients:

  • Ripe bananas – 3
  • Plain flour (Maida) – 2 cups
  • Rice flour – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Sugar 3-4 teaspoons depending on sweetness of bananas
  • Pinch of salt
  • Coconut oil

Method:

  1. Mix the bananas well with the plain flour and rice flour. You can use your hand to properly mix this.
  2. Add one egg, sugar and a pinch of salt and continue to mix.
  3. Add water and make the batter such that its neither too runny nor too dry. You should be able to scoop up a spoonful.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a pan and slowly add spoonful of the batter to the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown.
  5. Serve with hot black tea.

 

Notes

  1. You can add cardamom powder to the batter for added flavor.
  2. You can use any variety of bananas to make this except the traditional Kerala bananas (Nendras).
  3. You can avoid adding rice powder if you don’t want it to be crispy. This can be made eggless also.
  4. To use little oil and avoid deep frying, you can use an unniappam pan.